In the Infant Room, two teachers and four children were present. Two of the children were eating their breakfast and the others were eating snacks. The main breakfast meal was applesauce and biscuits. Of the infants who were eating breakfast, one infant finished all of his applesauce and biscuits while another finished his applesauce but refused the biscuits. The quantity of each meal was around six tablespoons of applesauce, two biscuits, and a cup of water. The utensils were all plastic and colorful. Moreover, the size of the meal was proportional with the infants’ ages, so the plates were small with small portions of food. The spoons were tea spoons and the cups were Sippy Cups, made of plastic as well.
Of the infants eating snacks, the teachers gave them a few grains of toasted Cheerios. They placed the Cheerios for them on the table and the infants grabbed them with their little fingers. Once they finished, the teachers added more Cheerios for them in small quantities. The overall quantity of the snack was around four tablespoons of Cheerios.
The children were sitting in tiny chairs made up of wood with seat belts to ensure their safety. Additionally they were gathered around a small round table that was also made up of wood. The size of the furniture was appropriate for their age and the furniture was very stable. The overall environment was quiet and the babies were playing with their hands, cups, and feet while they ate their meals. One of them tried to hold a teacher’s hand and wanted to hold her while he was eating. The interaction between them while they were eating was not obvious.
The babies seemed to want to eat and play with themselves. One of the babies was crying multiple times throughout the day and turned out to have a bad mood, as was told to me by the teacher when I asked. She told me this baby frequently has these moods. When the babies finished their meals and snacks the teachers washed the kids’ hands and faces and cleaned their dining table.
Pre-k room (3-5)
There were many more children in this class (around 20) with four teachers. Before the meal, the teachers asked the kids to clean up and collect the toys in a lovely way: using singing. Then the teachers asked them to wash their hands and sit in their chairs. Since there were more children, they separated them into two tables. They gathered together around two square tables made of wood that were age-appropriate in size. They stayed in their chairs and waited for the teachers to provide their meals. They were talking, teasing, and complaining with one another.
Overall, there were many interactions between the kids and the class was noisy. After a while the teachers handed out the plastic cups and plates, but metal spoons. They also handed out a small plastic pitcher that contained fat-free milk. Every child poured the milk in his cup and passed the pitcher to his classmates. After that, the teacher provided a big bowl of applesauce with a large metal ladle. Every child put one ladle-full of applesauce on his plate. Then the teacher provided one biscuit to each child, and the kids started eating. They finished their plates quickly and the teacher provided tooth brushes to each one of the kids. Then, each one took their own utensils and put it in a moveable table allocated for dirty dishes. I noticed not all the kids completed their milk but almost all of them finished their applesauce. The teachers were sitting with the kids at the same table and eating with them. As soon as the kids finished cleaning up their utensils, they washed their hands and brushed their teeth, while the teachers were mopping the two tables and put every chair back in the table.